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You should not drive across a railway level crossing when: You should not drive across a railway level crossing when:

  • A. You are towing a caravan.

  • B. Traffic is blocking the other side.

  • C. A station is nearby.

  •  
    The correct answer is B
     
    Correct. If traffic is blocking the other side you may get stranded on the tracks. As a train cannot stop quickly or leave the tracks, your vehicle will be in danger of being hit by the train.
     
 
 
 

Safely crossing a railway level crossing

This is especially important for long vehicles. Watch for level crossings where there is a road to the right or a t-intersection not far after the crossing. A large vehicle waiting to turn right can block traffic from passing it to the left, especially if there are vehicles parked on the left, too.

You will need to have enough room to pass through the intersection and give 5-10m clearance behind you. In rush hour traffic will be slow and your following distance will be less. This gives you less chance to see when traffic backs up on the other side of the crossing.

Here's what happens if you don't clear the crossing.

And here are some near misses from crossings in Australia showing some occasions where drivers have just driven straight through the barriers. At 0:30 you will see an example where drivers didn't check they could clear the crossing before they entered, and the barrier came down behind them. The train managed to slow to a crawl. 1:18 shows a similar junction where it was lucky that drivers concertina'd up and the silver car could move out of the way. Again, the train managed to avoid it, this time by stopping.